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Seat Belts

Introduction:

  • U.S.-registered civil aircraft, operating under part 91, are required to abide by a set of seat belt, shoulder harness, and child restraints

Seat Belts:

  • No pilot may cause to be moved on the surface, take off, or land unless the pilot in command of that aircraft ensures that each person on board has been briefed on how, and notified to fasten their safety belt and, if installed, his or her shoulder harness
    • This does not apply to free balloons that incorporates a basket or gondola, or an airship type certificated before November 2, 1987
  • Except as provided in this paragraph, each person on board (except a free balloon that incorporates a basket or gondola or an airship type certificated before November 2, 1987) must occupy an approved seat or berth with a safety belt and, if installed, shoulder harness, properly secured about him or her during movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing. For seaplane and float equipped rotorcraft operations during movement on the surface, the person pushing off the seaplane or rotorcraft from the dock and the person mooring the seaplane or rotorcraft at the dock are excepted from the preceding seating and safety belt requirements. Notwithstanding the preceding requirements of this paragraph, a person may:
    • Be held by an adult who is occupying an approved seat or berth, provided that the person being held has not reached his or her second birthday and does not occupy or use any restraining device;
    • Use the floor of the aircraft as a seat, provided that the person is on board for the purpose of engaging in sport parachuting; or
    • Notwithstanding any other requirement of this chapter, occupy an approved child restraint system furnished by the operator or one of the persons described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section provided that:
      • The child is accompanied by a parent, guardian, or attendant designated by the child's parent or guardian to attend to the safety of the child during the flight;
      • Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(B)(4) of this action, the approved child restraint system bears one or more labels as follows:
        • Seats manufactured to U.S. standards between January 1, 1981, and February 25, 1985, must bear the label: “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards”;
        • Seats manufactured to U.S. standards on or after February 26, 1985, must bear two labels:
          • "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards”; and
          • "THIS RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT” in red lettering;
        • Seats that do not qualify under paragraphs (a)(3)(iii)(B)(1) and (a)(3)(iii)(B)(2) of this section must bear a label or markings showing:
          • That the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations;
          • That the seat or child restraint device furnished by the operator was approved by the FAA through Type Certificate or Supplemental Type Certificate; or
          • That the seat or child restraint device furnished by the operator, or one of the persons described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section, was approved by the FAA in accordance with §21.8(d) of this chapter or Technical Standard Order C-100b or a later version. The child restraint device manufactured by AmSafe, Inc. (CARES, Part No. 4082) and approved by the FAA in accordance with §21.305(d) (2010 ed.) of this chapter may continue to bear a label or markings showing FAA approval in accordance with §21.305(d) (2010 ed.) of this chapter
        • Except as provided in §91.107(a)(3)(iii)(B)(3)(iii) and §91.107(a)(3)(iii)(B)(3)(iv), booster-type child restraint systems (as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213 (49 CFR 571.213)), vest- and harness-type child restraint systems, and lap held child restraints are not approved for use in aircraft; and
      • The operator complies with the following requirements:
        • The restraint system must be properly secured to an approved forward-facing seat or berth;
        • The child must be properly secured in the restraint system and must not exceed the specified weight limit for the restraint system; and
        • The restraint system must bear the appropriate label(s)

Conclusion:

  • These requirements for seat belts, harnesses and child restraints apply to general aviation operations
    • The rules above do not apply to operations conducted under part 121, 125, or 135 of this chapter
  • Paragraph (a)(3) of this section does not apply to persons subject to §91.105

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